Are Arsenal genuine title contenders?

They say the league table does not lie. Those that are high in the league are there because they deserve it. Those near the bottom are also there due to their own performance. Over the season, a poor referring decision here or there has no bearing on where you are in the league table. Yes it might be the difference between 13th and 14th, but it has very little to do with a club being 20th against mid-table.

The league table does not lie.

Many will argue, however, that you should not look at the league table until 10 games in. Teams positions can be artificially inflated due to playing poor teams, likewise a good side can find themselves near the bottom after getting a cruel set of opening fixtures. It is best not to read too much into the early season table.

Taking both of these into account, should we be getting excited that we currently top the league? Can we be considered genuine title contenders? Or have we just had a nice early run of fixtures.

Firstly, let’s look at the table. We are top (I do enjoy saying that) – and the rest of the top 6 are made up of Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton. It might only be early day’s in the season, but the usual suspects are already congregating at the top. The only side missing is Manchester United, but they have had the hardest start, with away games against both Liverpool and Manchester City, and a home match against Chelsea.

At the bottom of the table, it is a similar story. Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Norwich, Cardiff & West Hame occupy the bottom 6. If I were a betting man, I would put my house on the 3 relegated sides coming from those 6 teams. Again, despite it being early doors, the league table is not lying.

This brings me on to Arsenal. Top of the league on goal difference. Some might argue that we are only there due to a favourable run of games – out of our 5 games, only 2 have been away, both of which were against 18th and 20th in the league; and the 3 home games, Spurs, Aston Villa & Stoke, we would expect to win (Although we lost to Aston Villa). We have had a very comfortable start to the season. But is it any harder than others?

In terms of playing ‘each other’ in the sides in the top 6, Spurs have played 1 other (Arsenal away), Manchester City 1 (Manchester United home), Liverpool 1 (Manchester United home), Chelsea 2 (Manchester United & Everton away) and Everton 1 (Chelsea away).

The stand out team is Manchester United. They have already had 3 very tricky games in the 1st 5 games. Other than that, every other side has had a similar run of hard games, with every side playing another at least once, bar Chelsea who have played twice.

Therefore, it is easy to make an argument that the league table does not lie. What it shows is that it is tight at the top. 3 points between 1st and 6th. Whilst it might take another half dozen games before Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool can be considered as true title contenders, the signs are good for the Gunners. With a favourable run of games coming up, it is not inconceivable that we could still be top after the 1st 10 games. And then we will have to be considered contenders.

Whilst you can not win the title after the first 10 games, you can certainly rule yourself out of the race by too many early dropped points. All we can do is take it one game at a time.

Keep the faith, and keep supporting the team.

Keenos

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12 thoughts on “Are Arsenal genuine title contenders?

  1. rellends

    see where we are at the end on november. that looks like it will be a bastard of a month. mustn’t grumble though as an injury to giroud would leave us in crisis mode again. what’s worrying me today is walcott having an “unknown” abdominal injury. we missed him yesterday. don’t really care about utd’s tough start to the season as i recall we had liverpool away, city away and chelsea at home in the first 5 weeks last season – nobody had any sympathy for us.

    Reply
  2. davi

    I’ve been convinced by our start, particularly against Spurs. I always felt like we’ve had a bit extra since the first game (in which we did suffer a lot of misfortune it has to be said), that we could always turn it up a bit if we had really needed to. IMO the biggest issue is the thinness of the squad, a couple more injuries and we’re going not going to look so good and there’s no way Vermaelen will not play a fairly major part this season and I’m really not a fan of him in defence.

    Reply
    1. davi

      That said if we can keep the players we have fit now, and add to that Cazorla, Podolski and Arteta, things will only look a lot better.

      Reply
  3. jeff wright

    Tottenham have the same points that we do just goal difference separates us. So taking account of this it might be wise to not get too carried away. City with their strong squad are favourites with the bookies to win the league . With our players already dropping like flies with injuries it will be tough for us when the big games come thick and fast .
    Teams with better players than Stoke will also cause us more problems in the last third – because despite the much vaunted claims regarding Flamini the fact is our midfield still looks physically weak. A return by Song in January ?

    Reply
    1. brigi99jam

      That’s interesting you say that, because this is the Stoke team that ram Man City ragged, and really should have won that day..Created loads of chances..I think you guys are duped by the media, this is one strong Arsenal side, with the best midfield in the EPL. We need be ox, cazorla and podolski, and we have a side that can go all the way.

      Reply
  4. DöubleDöubleDöuble

    Are we contenders? Yes.

    Will we win it? Probably not.

    However this is a season that promises much for the future – cement our place in the Top 4 again (2nd or 3rd, rather than 4th – Man City and Chelsea to occupy the other two top places), maybe put together a decent cup run or two (hopefully win one to get that monkey off our back), and keep the squad together for next season without any leaving who we don’t want rid of. I know it sounds like deja vu, but we look like we’ve stopped the rot now and can actually start to build.

    I’ve long been a believer that from 2014 on is where the clubs long term plans will really bear fruit, as everything will be in place to compete again, i.e. stadium, stable squad, finances.

    Reply
  5. Marcus

    If we look at things rationally I think Arsenal, barring a myriad of injuries, are contenders. There are 3 reasons I say this:
    Firstly, despite the recent run of good results, Arsenal are very much a team that are still gelling. This is evident based on that first half we played against Sunderland where we blew them away. We haven’t really played like that since and you can tell that we are still several gears away from hitting our top form. This will take time and the more the team plays together, the better we will be. There’s still loads more to come from Ozil, Wilshere, Walcott, Flamini just to name a few so I expect us to get even better.
    Secondly, we are getting results without many of our stars. We are without Podolski, Cazorla (who let me remind you was our best player last season) and Rosicky all of whom are top stars. It must terrify our opponents to think that we are playing like this yet Ozil and Santi haven’t yet teamed up. With the number of chances we create and have the potential to create, getting Podolski and Theo back in the team and firing will make us much more deadly.
    Finally, there is the fact that we have only 3 months to the next transfer window and we know that Wenger is going to sign a top name striker and probably a defender and winger. This means that as long as Arsenal can maintain top spot or be in the leading pack by January, reinforcements and world class ones at that will come in and tilt events very much in our favor.

    Reply
    1. DöubleDöubleDöuble

      Who Wenger signs in January will most likely be dependent on injuries, and I doubt he’d sign more than 1 big name then.

      In my opinion it’s more likely to be a Monreal-level signing in January, though I cross my fingers and hope that Dortmund go out of the Champions League at the Group Stage, and Lewandowski decides that he doesn’t really fancy staring at Ribery’s mug for the next few years, so decides he wants to join us instead.

      Reply
    1. jeff wright

      gungungun stop firing blanks… blanks…blanks changing your silly names doesn’t help … once an idiot always an idiot.

      Reply
  6. T2T

    We got 1 world star this summer. I’d settle for 1 world star every transfer window and off-loading fringe players. We “all” knew our team was pretty solid even before signing Özil; finishing 3rd or 4th in the most competitive league in the world for several years in a row is no coincidence. Replacing top PL quality players with world class players will make our team the best. Sanogo is bought as one for the future, Flamini and Özil are for right now and Viviano is a gap filler. We don’t need many; carefully adding quality without making wholesale changes is the right way to go. We probably should look for either a winger or a central striker in January. When we get Arteta, Cazorla, Rosicky, Podolski, Vermaelen, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott back from injury/back to form, we have a plethora of midfield options, a couple can also play as the main striker.

    Reply
  7. mosgoon

    the difference this year is that it is a possibility, whereas this time last season CL qualification seemed unlikely. The shirt deal means that we can get an Ozil type player every season for the next few years. We are in a great position going forward and a pretty good one now.

    Reply

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